Butter Fruitcake for Holiday Tea

December 20th, 2009 / Comments 3

Five days before Christmas is the perfect time to make my favorite butter fruitcake created in memory of my mother’s butter fruitcake.

Pto Candle c egbert 310x305 Butter Fruitcake for Holiday Tea

She wasn’t much of a baker but, the week before Christmas, Mother always found time to bake. When friends visited during the holiday, she served thin slices of buttery pound cake filled with raisins and dotted with bright red candied cherries with a pot of tea. I’m baking the fruit cake today so that there will be time to infuse the cake with generous splashes of Myers’s Dark Rum before friends arrive.

Ptu mixer red and green c egbert2 250x305 Butter Fruitcake for Holiday Tea This recipe started with my mother’s recipe but, when I cook, reading the recipe is merely the first step. I compare similar recipes, check out the contents of my pantry and fridge and get started, taking notes as I go, and trying to confine the inevitable sticky mess. Today’s version had dried apricots and cranberries, golden raisins and crystallized ginger. It’s baking while I’m posting. Here’s how I made it:

Butter Fruit Cake

I combined 1 c /150 g of diced dried apricots, 1/2 c / 75 g of diced crystallized ginger, 1/2 c / 75 g of dried cranberries and 1 c / 150g of golden raisins with 1/2 c / 55 g of sifted flour in a bowl.

I used a stand mixer and creamed 3/4 c / 170g  of unsalted butter with 2 c / 400g of sugar until it was pale yellow and fluffy, about ten minutes. Then I added five eggs, one at a time, beating for about two minutes between each addition. When all of the eggs were incorporated, I added 3 1/2 c / 385 g of flour, sifted with one teaspoons of baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt. I used a spatula to fold the fruit mixture into the batter and spooned the batter into two glass loaf pans that I had greased and lined with parchment paper. After an hour and a half in a 325-degree oven, the cakes were golden and a toothpick poked into the center came out dry. I cooled the cakes for fifteen minutes before I tipped them out onto a rack and peeled off the parchment paper.

When the cakes were completely cool, I put them back into the loaf pans and doused each loaf with two tablespoons of Myers’s Dark rum. The cakes will rest in the fridge, under cover, until guests arrive for tea.

Orange juice or apricot nectar can be used if you prefer a non-alcoholic cake. If you are using metal pans the oven should be preheated to 350 degrees rather than the 325 degrees I used with glass pans. I hope you will experiment with what fruit and nuts you stir into this cake. Any combination of dried fruits will work; almonds, pecans or walnuts are possible additions. Take notes so you can remember what you added and you will have a starting place for the next time.

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Butter Fruit Cake List

  • 1 c /150 g dried apricots
  • 1/2 c / 75 g crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 c / 75 g dried cranberries
  • 1 c / 150g golden raisins
  • 4 c / 440 g  flour
  • 3/4 c / 170g unsalted butter
  • 2 c / 400g of sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T rum or orange juice or apricot nectar
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• 3 Responses to “Butter Fruitcake for Holiday Tea”

  • Really lush result, so delicious, I tried it out the other day and it turned out great. Look forward to your future mouth watering posts.

  • Lydia Spitzer says:

    Hi Carol! Love your blog: it’s delightful both in sight and in spirit. One question about your butter fruit cake, which I look forward to making: years ago I learned a great rum-cake recipe from my then-brother-in-law’s Brazilian mother, which involved pouring the rum (and butter and sugar) sauce directly onto the hot cake. I always assumed it absorbed better when hot. I note that your recipe says to cool it first. Do you know if it works better that way?

    • Carol says:

      Thanks for your kind words. I think pouring liquid onto the hot cake will work well. If the cake is very delicate, like a sponge cake, I would wait until the cake had cooled so that it wouldn’t collapse.

      Hugs back at you.

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